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The Night of the Iguana

4.5 out of 5 stars 186 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Night of the Iguana (DVD)

Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr star in Academy Award-winning director John Huston's adaptation of playwright Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana. Defrocked, alcoholic former priest T. Lawrence Shannon (Burton) has fallen far in his quest to sate his base, libidinous urges. Now working as a tour guide in Mexico for a group of female American schoolteachers, Shannon is caught with one of the women at the start of a night of alcohol and tropical heat that rips away the façades of repression that cover the perversions and personal demons of all members of the tour group.

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Special Features

  • New featurette The Night of the Iguana: Houston's Gamble
  • Vintage featurette On the Trail of the Iguana
  • Theatrical trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr, Sue Lyon, Skip Ward
  • Directors: John Huston
  • Writers: John Huston, Anthony Veiller
  • Producers: John Huston, Ray Stark
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Black & White, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 2, 2006
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EBD9TE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,863 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Night of the Iguana" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 2, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is arguably the best film made of any of Tennessee Williams plays. It's greatness is due in great part to the direction of John Huston and the magnificent cast he has assembled to tell this story. Richard Burton and Deborah Kerr, two of the finest actors from England,give terrific performances as a tortured, defrocked priest and a strong-willed woman who has learned to survive in an unkind world. Ava Gardner proves in this film that she was a marvelous actress capable of giving a gutsy, heartfelt performance of great complexity. Grayson Hall is also quite remarkable as a hateful woman whose nasty actions are sparked by her jealousy and desire for a young woman played by Sue Lyon. The stark black and white photography of this film beautifully contributes to the mood of Tennesse William's story. This is really one of the finest films of the 1960s. It is one you can view many times over and find many pleasures.
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By A Customer on September 12, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Tennesse Williams has rarely fared well in the transfer from stage to screen, but Night of Iguana is evidence that his work makes for powerful viewing. Stark visuals play against the subtle script and performances, with Ava Gardner giving perhaps her finest performance as the over-sexed, hard-bitten hotel owner who conceals a loving heart and honest nature behind an "I don't give a damn" mask. Burton has rarely been seen to such effect, and Deborah Kerr is quite fine. The supporting cast, featuring Grayson Hall and Sue Lyons, is remarkably strong as well. A powerful and unstinting screen adaptation of one of Williams' most powerful and unstinting plays.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Great play ... Great acting ... Great direction ... although nobody won Oscars. Who cares? John Huston wisely filmed this in stark black and white reflecting its somber tone. Burton gives the performance of lifetime as Shannon at the end of his rope, and Kerr is fantastic, as always, imbuing a tender role with even more humanity. T. Williams' play, one of the best from America's best playwright, has everything. Conflict, strong characterization, wisdom, and of course humor. Some of the coarseness of the play has been excised (Shannon's), thus making him a more sympathetic character, but this does not hurt the movie. Huston sticks pretty much to the actual play, except for the ending, which was not in the play. However, this does not really hurt the film. Anyway, buy this film and enjoy it again and again. Your life will be richer for it.
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Format: VHS Tape
Richard Burton, Deborah Kerr, Sue Lyon, Grayson Hall, and the world's most beautiful animal, Ava Gardner all came together on Mismaloya Beach in 1964 to film John Houston's film of Tennessee Williams "Night of the Iguana". With this cast, this playwright and this director we are in for a rare treat.

Burton gives one of his best tortured soul performances, which is only surpassed by his George in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff?" Fresh off of his star making appearance in "Cleopatra" he displays the lessons he learned in screen acting from soon to be wife Elizabeth Taylor. Here he is not the great stage actor making a movie but a fine and immensely watchable film actor at the top of his craft.

Deborah Kerr is in top form too as a spinster artist down on her luck and at her ropes end. She is as always a fine actress who never disappoints the viewer. Sue Lyon of "Lolita" fame turns in a pitch perfect performance as a spoiled teenaged girl on the loose during a cheap vacation bus tour of Mexico. She is so good at being a brat that one forgets she is acting a part. She hits the mark of overdramatic teen in such a way that at first one thinks she is a poor actress, "Copa de Oro Larry..." but in fact it is right on the money.

Grayson Hall nearly steals the picture as the leader of the touring Baptist ladies. She is simply superb as a closeted lesbian drawn to Sue Lyon as both suppressed object of sexual desire and protective jealous mother figure. She is a joy to watch and a tragedy to witness.

But of all of Burton's ladies in the film this movie belongs to Ava Gardner. Here the famed beauty is blousy, raucous, delicious, and so ready for steaming that at 40 she hits her prime as a sexy real woman who knows who she is and what life is all about.
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By K. Churn on October 24, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
No one wrote about human "brokeness" with such humanity better than Tennessee Williams. Some of my favorite movies have been adapted from his plays. This one I watched twice over the weekend and with the wonders of technology was able to easily click on some of my favorite scenes to watch for a third time. I won't give details of the plot because others have already done that, but I will say that Ava Gardner was an absolute marvel. The way she moved and the way she talked made me feel as if I knew her personally. In a way, I had, considering I've known a few Maxines in my time-women who assuaged their pain and loneliness with whoever showed any interest, no matter how fleeting. Richard Burton burned up the screen as the Reverend Dr. T. Lawrence Shannon. I was amazed by how easily he could be simultaneously pathetic and wickedly funny. The beauty of Shannon was that even in his darkest hours, he still was looking for that tiny flicker of light. Deborah Kerr was truly a standout for me given that I'm a huge fan. Her Hannah was beautifully nuanced. I couldn't just listen to her words, but had to pay very close attention to her facial expressions as well to get the full weight of what she was saying. This was one of the few times later in her career where her beauty and glamour were completely toned down and you got to see all that she had to offer without distraction. It was an absolutely stunning performance. My favorite exchange in the movie was when Hannah and Shannon were talking and she says, "There are worse things than chastity, Mr. Shannon." and Shannon quickly quips, "Yes, lunacy and death." The irony of that coming from a minister wasn't lost on me.

All of the other supporting actors did a fine job as well. Grayson Hall as the controlling and neurotic Miss Fellowes was amazing.

This was an all around great movie that I know that I'll watch many more times in the coming years.
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